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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got to the river around 1030 this AM in a falling sleet, wader'd up, tied on a new double-bead stonefly pattern that I got from Riverwood Flies down in Lyons, and hiked down the snowy ramp at S. Cle Elum. The river is low and cold, clear, and it's been a while since I've been on it, so welcoming indeed.

I hit a couple of deep pools tucked against the fallen logs. Made a few adjustments to get to the right depth, and then worked out some rust on my mending skills. The snow is deep on the side of the river, and it makes a deep "wumph" when you step closer to the water's edge and break through the ice. There are footprints from a previous angler, so I follow those to see where they lead. We're on the same path criss-crossing the shallow river - seeking out the slower water and structure.

The snow is peppered with bugs - small, black, look like winter stoneflies, and there are also blue wing olives fluttering around, seemingly attracted more to the snow than the water.



There are no rising fish to be seen. I spooked a small fish as I clumsily pushed my numbing feet through the snow and water - the water feels warmer, so back in. Thigh deep to cross this section, and come upon one of my favorite Fall holes - will the fish still be there?

Cast into the top of the pool, drift a size 10 double-bead black Santiam Stone pattern above a 16 red CJ, and let it swing at the end of the pool. Hookup - that familiar pull brings me to attention and I quickly reach for the net and camera - numb hands fumbling but find purchase on the cold clip of the net. Camera comes next to record the reward for the day.



Look at the yellow splotch on this fish's underside - I've never seen a marking like this before. Thoughts?



The takeout at State is ice-free now - a float for next week is in the plan.



A cold beer and burger at The Brick to end the day, the slog over the pass, home to dry the gear.

Tight lines everyone - winter time on the Yakima, and the fishing's pretty good in the upper river. The fish are there.

Derek
 

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Nice post and pics Derek. Perfect winter fishing..
Congrats on hooking up and I don't know what the poor fella has between his pecs.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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nice derek, thanks for the report. i've been wondering how the yak is looking but looks fishable. looks like a trip is in order for me.

Chris
 

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A collector never stops collecting!
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Nice report and pics! Might have to get out there soon!
 

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that's His Lordship, to you.....
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Great read, Derek! I still owe you a float, maybe a trip to Cooke Canyon once the snow's off the ground so it won't offend the delicate sensibilities of my two spoiled hounds;-)
Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for reading everyone - that bug in the first pic is a caddis larvae for which I am getting a new pattern tied up for to see how effective it might be. I thought it was a little cold and early for caddis, but maybe that's a sign?

BTW, I'll probably hit the same stretch next week on a couple of the (nicer!) days if anyone wants to tag along. Maybe float it? Send a PM if you're interested.

Derek
 
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